November 8th 2008


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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Economic crisis: predicted and predictable

COVER STORY: A third way? Allan Carlson's vision of a family-centred economy

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Little room to manoeuvre for Rudd Government

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Market failure and the difficult path ahead

SUPERANNUATION: Development bank needed for Rudd's nation-building

RURAL AFFAIRS: Minister confronted by drought's human toll

POPULATION: 'A gigantic, costly and inhumane fraud ...'

RUSSIA: Moscow's campaign of kidnapping and murder

SOUTH-EAST ASIA: Thailand, land of smiles, convulses

HUMAN RIGHTS: Sakharov Prize awarded to Chinese dissident Hu Jia

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Prologue / Just a friend of the family / Epilogue

AS THE WORLD TURNS - Quotes for our Times

OBITUARY - Vale Pat Dunne

Doctor to an aborted boy - a poem

Legalised fraud (letter)

Christian Democrats' role in WA election (letter)

BOOKS: THE BIG SQUEEZE: Tough Times for the American Worker, by Steven Greenhouse

BOOKS: EMPIRES OF THE SEA: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580, by Roger Crowley

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POPULATION:
'A gigantic, costly and inhumane fraud ...'


by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, November 8, 2008
Today, 18 countries fill more coffins than cradles, thanks to the availability of abortion on demand and widespread fertility reduction programs. As a result, the world faces, not a global population explosion, but a population implosion. Bill Muehlenberg reports.

Every reason offered for abortion is a bad reason. But there is one reason often thrown around which is not only bad, but dumb. I refer to those who argue that abortion is necessary because it helps to control our overpopulation crisis. They claim that planet earth is dangerously overcrowded and that abortion is a neat way to keep things in check. But there are a number of problems with such a position.

Even if we are overpopulated - and many experts dispute the claim - abortion is not the answer. Just as the answer to a crowded apartment building is not murdering half the residents, so too here, murdering the unborn is not an acceptable solution.

There are many couples eager to adopt children. That is certainly a more humane approach.

If we are serious about proposing death to solve the problems of world hunger and overpopulation, why stop at just killing unborn babies? Why not kill adults? After all, they eat a lot more than the unborn, they consume more resources, they take up more space, they make more demands on our environment, etc.

The point is, one serious social problem cannot be solved by means of causing another one.

You can apply this to any other situation. Many prisons are experiencing manifest overcrowding. Would it therefore be right to kill, say, a third of all prisoners, in the interests of reducing prison populations and to relieve overcrowding?

Overcrowding in our hospitals is also a perennial problem. In order to free up much needed hospital beds, should we simply go through the wards and bump off, say, 40 per cent of patients? That would certainly free up the beds.

(By the way, this outlandish proposal has actually been canvassed in Australia. In 1994, the Economic Planning Advisory Council discussed the rising costs of health care for the elderly and the problem of overcrowding in hospitals. In a publication called Australia's Ageing Society (EPAC Background Paper No. 37), EPAC actually looked at the use of euthanasia as one option for solving the crisis).

While arguments for overpopulation seemed to carry some weight back in the 1960s (remember Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb?), today the real problem is not a population explosion, but a population implosion. Rapidly falling fertility rates are becoming a major concern around the world, certainly in the West.

A number of recent books have documented this population implosion, including Philip Longman's The Empty Cradle (reviewed in News Weekly, October 9, 2004); and Ben J. Wattenberg's Fewer: How the New Demography of Depopulation Will Shape Our Future (reviewed in News Weekly, March 26, 2005).

Concerns about supposed overpopulation have often resulted in many draconian and inhumane policies, such as forced abortions, sterilisations, and widespread eugenics policies. Jacqueline Kasun warned about this in her important 1988 book, The War against Population.

Just recently, population expert Steven Mosher has released a book tackling these very issues. Entitled Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits, it offers a sober warning about how population-control zealots are using draconian methods and implementing eugenics policies in their push to curb human numbers.

As Mosher puts it, "For over half a century, the population controllers have perpetuated a gigantic, costly and inhumane fraud upon the human race, defrauding the people of the developing countries of their progeny and the people of the developed world of their pocketbooks."

Dictatorial actions

He continues: "Determined to stop population growth at all costs, the controllers have abused women, targeted racial and religious minorities, undermined primary health care programs, and encouraged dictatorial actions if not dictatorship.

"They have skewed the foreign aid programs of the US and other developed countries in an anti-natal direction, corrupted dozens of well-intentioned nongovernmental organisations, and impoverished authentic development programs.

"Blinded by a zealotry worthy of Al-Qaeda, they have even embraced the most brutal birth control campaign in history: China's infamous one-child policy, with all its attendant horrors."

In 250 fact-filled pages, Mosher carefully documents these claims, and shows how eugenics is alive and well, being promulgated by the no-growth zealots. Indeed, he reminds us that there are many serious voices urging us to not just stop population growth, but to radically reduce current population levels. Many are saying our six billion-plus population should be cut back to one billion, or two billion at the most.

Of course, how these four to five billion people are supposed to be eliminated is not always clearly stated. And none of those calling for such measures seem to have volunteered to set a personal example. But they are happy for other people to "do their bit" to save the planet.

Mosher documents the horrendous human rights abuses that are occurring in the name of fertility control. He reminds us that the real problems people face in the developing countries - lack of adequate food, water, shelter and health care - are being overlooked by the population controllers.

For example, every 20 seconds a person dies of malaria, or about 1.5 million people per year. Yet a government agency such as USAID spends $10 million to target this deadly disease, while spending hundreds of millions on fertility reduction programs.

Developing countries are awash with condoms, abortifacients, sterilisation agents and antenatal products and programs, while the people living there simply want clean running water, basic health care and proper sewage facilities. But Western governments think they know better, and are inundating these nations with their anti-life arsenals.

Our problem then is not too many people, but wrong policies being pushed onto the developing world by the developed world.

We do not need to force people to not have children. What we need to do is offer them the basics in care and health that we expect for ourselves.

It is true that we do have a population problem. But it is a population implosion, not an explosion, which is the real problem.

Abortion and fertility control programs are not only contributing to the problem, but those pushing such anti-natalism are coercive utopians who are promoting the same eugenics line that Hitler and the Nazis did on a bigger and nastier scale.

In a few short decades, the world's population will peak at around eight billion people, then a process of decline will set in. Today, 18 countries already fill more coffins than cradles each year, and that number is steadily rising. Yet the pro-abortionists and population-controllers seem oblivious to this fact.

In the light of all this, it is interesting to note that Norma McCorvey - the "Jane Roe" of the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision by the US Supreme Court to legalise abortion - is now both a Christian and an anti-abortion campaigner. She tells of one of the key reasons why she had such a radical change of heart from her earlier pro-abortion days.

She says she was in a park one day, which was nearly deserted. No children were playing on the swings or having fun on the slides. She wondered where all the youngsters were. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks: "We have been aborting ourselves out of existence."

Abortion is always wrong, as it takes the life of an innocent, defenceless human being. And it is certainly wrong when done for a bogus reason such as the so-called population explosion.

The world is facing a birth dearth, and abortion is part of the problem, not the solution.

- Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures in ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at: www.billmuehlenberg.com


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